Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The President of the United States called the President of Turkey to congratulate him on winning a referendum that gave the Turkish President sweeping powers that many analysts see as being one step closer to a dictatorship. Erdogan is making moves to change Turkey from a Parliamentary to a Presidential government. It is no surprise that Donald Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him, because it is clear that Mr. Trump would like the same kind of power.

Think about it. After thousands of people demonstrated on April 15 that Trump should release his income tax filings, Trump said that those people should be investigated. He accused former President Obama of wire-tapping Trump Tower. He wanted to put the former Secretary of State in jail because she used a private email server. He has called journalists horrible, evil liars, purveyors of "fake news" and excluded them from press conferences. His administration is ripping families apart and deporting undocumented parents. He recently referred to "my generals" when talking about the military. He has taken a wrecking ball to government agencies, particularly those that regulate business. He denies the human connection to climate change and is trying to diminish the role of the United States in solving this problem. He wants to roll back laws and legal decisions that protect women's health, ramp up policing in minority neighborhoods to control crime, and require all Muslim-Americans to register with the government. He has whipped up fear and hatred by describing all immigrants from south of the US border as murderers and rapists, and all people, except Christians, from Muslim-majority countries as terrorists. To please his base, Donald Trump would likely want to institute something akin to "Christian Law" in America. And much of the above has been accomplished through Executive Orders, pieces of paper containing legal language that he signs with great flourish, as if he is an emperor.

It is clear that Donald J. Trump wants to have dictatorial powers. He would like to be able to jail journalists for reporting things he doesn't like. He would relish the opportunity to arrest and jail all people who dare protest against him. Would he sieze an opportunity to close universities because they harbor intellectuals who claim to use facts that contradict Trumpism? You bet he would. He would most certainly enjoy sending "his military" anywhere in the world, and even here at home, to strongarm people and governments who oppose him. Yes, Donald J. Trump would love to have the powers of Recer Tayyip Erdogan, a President who has his military conduct mass arrests, torture and murder Turkish citizens, arrest journalists, judges, and university professors, all on trumped-up charges (!), and is moving Turkey towards being ruled as a Muslim, rather than secular nation.

So let us not kid ourselves about Donald Trump's motives. Keep in mind that he recently told reprters that he alone develops his strategies, not others like Steve Bannon. And that is one of the scariest comments yet in this young administration!


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